Being a Parkinson's patient: immobile and unpredictably whimsical literature and existential analysis.

Harry Van Der Bruggen*, Guy Widdershoven

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


What is characteristic of being a Parkinson's patient? This article intends to answer this question by means of an analysis of novels about people with Parkinson's disease, personal accounts, and scientific publications. The texts were analyzed from an existential-phenomenological perspective, using an adapted version of the existential analysis. Being a Parkinson's patient is apparently characterized by an existential paradox: life appears simultaneously immobile and unpredictably whimsical. This may manifest itself in the person's corporeality, in his being-in-time and in-space, in his relating to things and events, his life-world, and in his being-together-with-others as an individual. Finally, some specific characteristics of being a Parkinson's patient are described that may be relevant for purposes of adequate care, as is to be specified by further research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)289-301
Number of pages13
JournalMedicine, health care, and philosophy
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2004

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